Abstract - The Information Society 26(1)

Popular Searches in Google and Yahoo!: A “Digital Divide” in Information Uses?

Elad Segev and Niv Ahituv

This paper analyzes the popular search queries used in Google and Yahoo! over a 24 month period, from January 2004 to December 2005. A new methodology and metrics is developed and employed to examine and assess the digital divide in information uses, looking at the extent of political searches, their accuracy and variety. The findings indicate that some countries, particularly Germany, Russia and Ireland, display greater accuracy of search terms, diversity of information uses and socio-political concern. Also, in many English speaking and Western countries most popular searches were about entertainments, implying a certain gap within these countries between the few who search for economic and political information and the many that do not.


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